StaffWho We Are
At Gilly’s House, we are proud to have a staff comprised of highly trained professionals dedicated to helping our residents on their journey towards recovery and long-term sobriety. Our team is passionate about providing each individual with the support they need while creating a positive and nurturing environment for all. Meet our amazing staff by reading about each person below!
Barbara Gillmeister, co-owner of Gilly’s, mother to Steven “Gilly”. To bring meaning to Steven’s life, Gilly’s House was established. I look at this disease from the perspective of a parent. I have a Master’s Degree in Special Education and I work with blind and visually impaired children. We work hard every day to help those looking for recovery.
David Gillmeister, co-owner of Gilly’s and father to Steven “Gilly“. I am involved with the daily happenings at the house, overseeing the building and the grounds. I also help the residents with their day to day plans. I have a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and employed in the reverse mortgage business. I am dedicated to supporting those men who are serious about their recovery.
Maureen is the House administrator. She met Barbara at a Learn to Cope meeting and just had to help! She keeps the home stocked with all the items it needs to run smoothly day to day. She also helps coordinate donations from the community, whether it be individuals, businesses, church and civic organizations. If you and anyone would like to make a donation, help with a fundraiser or do some community service at Gilly’s House, she would be he one to contact.
Our Support Staff
I work the Sunday morning shift at Gilly’s House. In the past I have volunteered for the Woonsocket JCs with their probation program and other youth projects. I also did volunteer work at Anchor Recovery in Pawtucket, R.I. for 2 years and graduated from their counseling program. I have 43 years in recovery from alcohol.
My name is Kevin, and I am very humbled and honored to be with Gilly’s House. I am a husband, a father, a brother, a son, a friend and a grateful recovering alcoholic/addict (my sober date 2/12/2016), I am also dual diagnosis, being treated for Bipolar Disorder. I am a success story (no bragging it’s TRUE!), I have been learning and growing, sharing with others, and as The Universe would have it, my path lead me back to Gilly’s. Truth be told, I was part of the original staff when the house opened! I worked here in the same capacity I do now, really just trying to help others find their path. In between I worked with SSTAR in Fall River as the Lead Substance Abuse Counselor on the ATS Unit, and I have also been with The Hockomock YMCA in different roles working with children for the past 5 years. I am very lucky, and grateful for this experience and opportunity,
My name is Jim Hayden and I’m on the support staff here at Gilly’s House. I’ve worked with men who have substance and alcohol abuse issues for the past 8 years at the North Cottage Program in Norton and I am in my 9th year of sobriety.
I am a professional musician and Berkeley College of Music alumni. I am a recovering alcoholic and addict. I completed the IOP program at Norcap. I am active in the 12 Step AA program. I started working at Gilly’s in September 2019.
Chris Sullivan is proud to be a member of our support staff at Gilly’s House.
He met the wonderful people at Gilly’s house while sharing his personal battle surrounding substances. Chris is in long term recovery and is proud to be able to say he lives a full life surrounded by others in recovery. He enjoys being able to be a small part of the Gilly’s House team that delivers the message of hope every day to the blessed men that walk through those doors of Gilly’s community.
I started working as support staff at Gilly’s House in January of 2023. I worked in the SUD field for 16 years as a mental health worker. I completed drug and alcohol training from the Anchor Recovery Training Academy in Providence, RI in May of 2021. I really enjoy talking to the guys and helping them with their recovery.
I am originally from Youngstown, Ohio. I’m a proud staff member of Gilly’s House and I’ve been involved with the house since 2019, I really enjoy being with the residents and helping them in their recovery with advice and encouragement. I want to give thanks to my wife and kids, Teen Challenge, and my work family at Stephco Cleaning, for all their support in my recovery, I am proud to say I have been clean now close to 9 years and it’s all thanks to what God has done in my life.
I am a longtime resident of the Gilly’s House. After years of fighting with this disease, trying to do things my way, I finally decided that a long term stay in a sober house was what I needed. After settling in as a resident, I got a get-well job, and that is how I started my recovery journey. It’s taken me on a great ride! After 2 years as a resident, I was asked to be the overnight manager. I can still work a full-time job during the day. I enjoy helping others in the house try to get their lives back on track, with a couple of good laughs on the side. I’m very grateful to have a sponsor here when needed, and the guys to talk to when things are bothering me.
I came to Gilly’s House after working 15 years as a clinician, working with men with substance abuse issues and psychiatric disorders. I am active in 12 step recovery, and I understand the importance of treating mental health issues and substance use disorders together for the best possible outcome. I am a licensed Substance Abuse counselor.
“I am honored to work at Gilly’s House and to be of service to the men we serve.”
speech made at race to recovery (5/7/2017)
From Barbara Gillmeister
I’m glad to see so many people supporting this cause today. I don’t think there is anyone here today who would disagree with the fact that drug addiction, drug overdoses and drug overdose deaths have been skyrocketing. No longer is this just an inner city issue. It is in suburbia, in our communities, and in our neighborhoods. Everyone knows someone or some family member who has been affected by the dark disease of drug addiction.
Today my son, Steven, Gilly to his friends, would have been 26 years old. He passed away 6 months ago from a drug overdose. He had a fabulous smile that instantly made you feel like his closest friend. He was generous. He was funny. He loved making connections with people. However, he struggled for many years with drug addiction. He was in detox, residential treatment facilities and sober recovery houses. Treatment for drug addiction is very scattered, it is difficult to find resources, it is difficult to find coordinated treatment, it’s difficult to know what to do and where to go.
With the amazing work of the dedicated Safe Coalition organization and its volunteers, now many parents, and friends and those suffering from this awful disease will be able to find the proper treatment for loved ones.
In addition to the Safe Coalition resource, right here in our area, my husband, David and I and Jamie Desilets, Steven’s girlfriend, are committed to adding another much needed resource here. We are going to establish a sober recovery house in this area. This sober recovery house will provide a safe, supportive and structured environment for those young men who want to change their lives and be able to successfully join life back in the community. This will be a memorial to my son and will be known as Gilly’s House.
To make this happen, it needs to be a community effort. We cannot do it alone. This is a disease that affects all our communities. So we will be looking for much support with funding, in-kind donations, and corporate sponsors. This sober recovery house will be a caring safe community for loved ones to learn the skills to recover and gain back their lives.
Rabbi Shneur Zalman teaches that just a small amount of light can dispel a great amount of darkness. Each of us has the ability to bring some light to this darkness. Think of how much light we have together. Please visit gillyshouse.com and tell us how you can help.
Thank you for your time, thank you, in advance, for your support.
– Barbara Gillmeister